Hammond, Gregory. The women's suffrage movement and feminism in Argentina from Roca to Perón. New Mexico, 2011. 267p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780826350558 pbk, $28.95; ISBN 9780826350565 e-book, contact publisher for price. Reviewed in 2012apr CHOICE.
Historian Hammond (Austin Peay State Univ.) traces the evolution of women's suffrage movements in Argentina from the Socialist Party's initial calls for this right in 1894 through populist president Juan Perón's signing legislation in 1947. Hammond's fascinating study provides a probing analysis of class divisions, differences in political ideologies, and the role of personalities as obstacles to the formation of a unified feminist movement. Many early feminist leaders were from a conservative oligarchy that held a paternalistic or dismissive attitude to the lower-class workers known as descamisados, who subsequently formed the basis of Perón's political movement. Conservative politicians opposed women's suffrage for fear that such a move would benefit the socialists. At the other end of the political spectrum, many leftist anarchists opposed feminist and suffrage movements because of their association with the conservative oligarchy, and because of their failure to address underlying structural issues that marginalized the lower classes. In the end, however, largely through the image and actions of his wife, Evita, Perón gained power by successfully manipulating, cultivating, and controlling women's loyalty in ways that feminists and socialists had not been able to do. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- M. Becker, Truman State University
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